European MEPs ‘in tears’ as British colleagues pack up to finally leave Brussels

Several British MEPs have confirmed their European counterparts have given them an emotional farewell during the last-ever week of business in Brussels and Strasbourg. The UK’s 73 MEPs will formally leave their roles in the European Parliament when the clock strikes 11pm on January 31. Britain’s elected officials will attend their final plenary session in the 751-seater chamber in Brussels on Wednesday.

Ahead of the final summit Richard Corbett, the leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party, said his fellow colleagues have been reduced to tears.

The MEP for the Yorkshire and Humber region said: “We have built up relationships with colleagues, lots of them were in tears - not just Brits.”

Labour’s Seb Dance, MEP, who has been in the French European hub of Strasbourg, said he has also received a heartfelt goodbye.

The MEP for the London region said: “There has been so much warmth and comradeship.

“Most people are pretty sad about the whole thing.”

Brexit Party Nigel Farage arrived in Brussels today to collect his belongings from his office which he has occupied for more than two decades.

The MEP for the South East of England since 1999 and spearhead of the historic 2016 referendum, said he would miss being the “pantomime villain” in Brussels.

Mr Farage who will lead Brexit celebrations in London on Friday, said: “I’ll miss some of the fun, some of the theatre.

“I’ll miss being the pantomime villain, which I’ve been many times.

“This has been a massive chapter of my life.”

An expected 30,000 Brexiteers along with Mr Farage will attend a celebratory rally in Westminster on Friday evening.

Buildings around Whitehall will be lit up as part of the light show, and Union Flags will be flown on all the poles in Parliament Square.

READ MORE: Merkel crisis: German exports fall by £2.5bn as Brexit takes toll 

The Brexit Party leader fired a warning to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and insisted the EU’s largest economy is “petrified”.

Mr Farage said: “In this negotiation, we’ve got a much stronger hand than they have.

”We’ve got Germany petrified of us becoming a competitor on their doorstep.”

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